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Nursing research guide: Evidence-based practice

What is evidence-based practice?

Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a way of providing health care that integrates the best available research evidence with clinical expertise and patient values. It allows the practitioner to critically assess research data, clinical guidelines, and other information sources in order to correctly identify the clinical problem, apply the most high-quality intervention, and re-evaluate the outcome for future improvement. 

The following chart shows the levels of evidence in different types of publications. Systematic reviews are the best available evidence, but it is good to note that they might not be available for all subjects. 

Evidence-based medice pyramid

Image: Evidence-based Medicine (EBM) by Tingjoh is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0  Creative commonsattribute requiredShare alike

PICO Question

Asking clinically focused questions is an important step in evidence-based practice, as it helps you find the best available research. The PICO(T) framework helps you formulate a good clinically focused question. 

P I C O
Patient, population or problem Intervention Comparison intervention Outcomes

How would you describe a group of patients similar to mine? Balance precision with brevity.

Which main intervention are you considering? Be specific. 

What is the main alternative to compare with the intervention? Again be specific. 

What can you hope to accomplish? Or what you could this exposure affect? 

An answerable question would ask: In P how does I compared with C affect the O?